Buying pet urns — What to consider

Pet Urn

People often ask if they should consider buying pet urns. If you’d like to keep your pet’s cremains in your home, choosing an urn can be a way to honor and celebrate your beloved pet.

It’s not surprising how often families ask, “What pet urn should I get?” The photo of the vase shaped urn with pawprints is what many people think of when they think of a pet urn. It is one of literally thousands of alternatives that are available. It may take some time to find the urn in which you’ll place your pet that is just the perfect combination, reminding you of everything that made your pet special

High Gloss Memory BoxWhat to consider

These are some of the points you should consider when buying pet urns:

  • Shape
  • Material
  • Photo
  • Accessibility
  • Personalization
  • Characteristics
  • Footprint of the Pet Urn
  • Other Pets
  • Other Items
  • All or Some



Some families like to see a representation of their pet in or on the urn.

Ceramic cat urnsUrn-GoodDayDogsHere are two examples of urns where the pet’s shape is either represented by the shape of the urn or is engraved onto the urn itself.

Shape also considers the center of gravity that the urn exhibits.  The upright cat urns in the left picture have a very high center of gravity, making them much easier to knock over than either the laying down cat on the left or the pot shaped urn on the right.  If you are concerned about the urn being knocked over, chose an urn with a low center of gravity.



Urns come in a vast array of materials, from wood to marble to ceramic to resin to metal and on and on.

Think about the different properties of the material and what you are trying to accomplish when buying pet urnsUrn-MagicWindow-sm-md-lg::

  • Natural hard woods (like oak, maple, cherry, walnut, bamboo ) are natural products that by definition have a uniqueness in their grain and color.  They are a renewable resource (given a timeframe of 2-40 years) and are easily engravable.  They are warm to the touch.  They are durable but can be chipped or broken if dropped.  They probably will not withstand a house fire.  It is a moderately weighty material.marble urns
  • Marble and quartz are also natural products that have a uniqueness in the marbling of colors and veining that are evident in the exposed surfaces.  They are not a renewable resource but are engravable.  They are cold to the touch.  They are not very durable and usually will shatter or at least chip if dropped.  They may withstand a house fire.  It is a weighty material.Urn-Heart
  • Ceramic is a manufactured product so the color of one urn will look identical to another.  Ceramic can be manufactured from raw materials (unlimited source) but usually is not easily engravable.  Ceramic is cold to the touch and will shatter if dropped.  Ceramic may survive a house fire.  It is a lighter weight material.    Urn-KittyWingsFront
  • Resin is a manufactured product but due to the composition of the resin components, one resin urn may be just a bit different than the next in color.  Resin is a manufactured product from raw materials (unlimited source) but is usually not engravable.  Resin is neither cold nor warm to the touch and is a lighter weight material.  It may or may not survive a house fire.  It is of moderate durability and may only break or chip depending upon the force and angle of the contact.urn160
  • Metal is a manufactured product that is consistent in color and of relatively unlimited supply.  It is easily engravable and can be of light weight (aluminum), medium weight (steel or brass)  or heavy weight (bronze).  It is cold to the touch but would usually survive a house fire  It is extremely durable, and may only get surface scratches if dropped.



Families often have dozens of photographs of their beloved pet which they would like to incorporate into the urn.  Some urn designs allow you to easily input and change the picture at whim while other require you to completely disassemble the urn to insert them.  You want to consider if you have “the” picture of your pet or if you may want to look at a holiday picture one month and a walk in the woods picture the next.  The color of the material surrounding the picture can enhance the picture or detract from it.  The shape of the frame can either be easy to work with (like a rectangular or oval shape)  or more difficult (heart shape).


When you receive your pet’s cremains from Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation, they are presented in a handmade fabric bag made from a fabric that you have chosen.  Because we touch our pets daily, many families desire an urn that allows them to continue to be able to easily remove them from the urn so they can be touched and caressed.   Urns can either be desired to be completely accessible (like the glass box urn shown to the right) or completely inaccessible (there are metal urns that come with a metal plate that once it has been hammered into the bottom is completely and permanently sealed or urns that are glued shut).  There are urns that are partially accessible, having fasteners that can be removed to allow access to the cremains.


Urns can be engraved, placed on bases that contain personalization, can have plates affixed with personalization, can have medallions hung on them that are personalized, can have photographs lasered onto them, can have figurines affixed to them or can be shaped like the pet and hand painted to resemble the pet’s coloration.

The personalization can be as simple as the pet’s name to the more definitive use of dates of birth and death to the more expressive use of phrases, nicknames, epithets and symbols (hearts, pawprints, crowns, etc).  When deciding on written personalization, the selection of a font and size for the writing is also necessary.


When you think of your pet, do you remember his blue eyes or the way she perched over you to let you know it was time to wake up?

 pet urns

These characteristics can be captured in the urn purchase. Urns can be found in all colors: pink, blue, green, copper, silver, black, grey, white and many combinations of colors. If you remember long walks with your pet, an urn with pawprints engraved onto the urn may bring those walks to mind. Urns can incorporate figures that remind you of a pose or behavior that you associate with your pet



Some urns are very large, requiring a deep shelf or require a lot of height to accommodate. If you chose an urn that is very heavy, you need to make sure that where it will sit in your home can support its weight.

Pet Urn

When you do not have a lot of horizontal space to accommodate a more traditional urn, you may chose to place your pet’s cremains in a frame urn that can be hung on the wall. This type of urn not only frees shelf space, but it keeps the urn inaccessible to small children and curious pets.

Pet urn



Some pets come to your family in pairs or trios and are bonded to each other in a very special way. It only seems fitting that once they pass, they continue to be near each other. If this idea appeals to you, you may wait to purchase an urn, If you wait until the group has passed, you can engrave their information onto the urn.

Family Pet Urn


Many families desire to keep a number of items that were associated with their pet in the urn-collars, tags, a favorite toy, a special bandana–all these things can be placed in the urn with the pet.

Pet UrnIf this is what you would like to do, you need to purchase an urn that is large enough to fit both the cremains and the items.


Families find many reasons to share pet’s cremains – perhaps the children have gone off to college or have moved into their own homes but would still like to keep a part of the pet with them. Some families find that after a breakup or divorce, both parties would like to keep a remembrance of the pet. Still other families spread cremains in a favorite outdoor location and retain just a small portion to keep with them.

Pet urnsKeepsakes are small urns that are only meant to hold a very small portion of the entire pet’s cremains. Keepsakes come in all different shapes, sizes and materials and many can be engraved much like a full-size urn.


The purchase of your pet’s urn involves careful consideration of an array of issues. I encourage you to take your time so that the urn you place your pet in is just the perfect combination, reminding you of everything that made your pet special. While this is not an exhaustive list of all urn materials, you begin to get the idea that the qualities of the material are uniqueness, renewability (environmental footprint), weight, durability (will it break/burn) and malleability (can it be engraved/personalized).  Also materials can mimic our pets coloration (cherry wood is similar to the fur of orange tabby cats and golden retrievers).  And last but certainly not least, will the material complement our home surroundings and decor.

Once all the attributes that need to be considered when buying pet urns are listed, it becomes easy to understand why Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation is emphatic about allowing your family time to thoughtfully consider what it is you want from an urn.  Buying pet urns is a sentimental as well as a practical activity that helps you define and honor the life you shared with your pet. It is our mission to provide you with a place where you can see, touch and learn about all the ways an urn can help you remember your special pet.  We are here to explore all the different aspects that can make your pet’s urn a peaceful and comforting resting place.  Put our years of experience to work with a variety of suggestions for you to consider.

If you would like to see more pictures and descriptions of the types of pet urns available to you through Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation, please visit our website and visit the Urns page.


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